The Mount St John stud have already proven themselves a force to be reckoned with in the Shearwater Young Horse classes after securing the top three slots, in last year’s five-year-old final. Mount St John VIP partnered by Charlotte Dujardin claimed the top honours followed by Mount St John Top Secret and Mount St John Furst Fugger coming in third.
In total six Mount St John horses have qualified for these finals, so we caught up with them ahead of this weekend’s competition.
Can you tell us a little about the horses you have competing?
We have a new four-year-old called Furstin Totilas competing who is the 1/2 sister of Totals, out of Lominka his mother but by For Romance instead of Gribaldi. She’s very green but we are very excited about her for the future for both her competing and breeding! She only joined us in May and is very inexperienced and has only done two shows, one to qualify then the semi finals so she won’t have seen anything like the arena at the Nationals. We hope to give her a good experience for her future confidence in the arena.
We also have Zonetta contesting the five-year-old class with Amy Woodhead, who also was selected to represent GB at the Young Horse World Championships after winning Bolesworth. She also has very low test milage but hasn’t been phased so far by big arenas, so we are confident she will cope with the atmosphere.
The six-year-old class has Mount St John VIP with Charlotte Dujardin and MSJ Top Secret with Jayden Brown return as the 1st and 2nd prize winners from 2016. We are also feeling positive of these two horses for this class again this year, but new horses are always coming out so we will have to see and Jayden has only joined us this summer from Australia so it’s still a relatively new partnership for them together.
How have you been preparing your young horses for this final?
We do a lot of hacking out and a variety of exercises including poles etc to keep the work varied for our young horses every week.
Do you enjoy the Young Horse classes – is there something about them you particularly like?
We really like the young horse classes for giving them exposure without too much pressure while they’re still maturing and just starting out in the arena. They can be more forgiving than a novice/ elementary test, such as on precision of the movements by markers. This is more leniant on a young horse who may need another moment to prepare and will get better results for a good transition that maybe a little off the marker, or within a more generous range of two letters instead of next to one marker. The odd spook is often more forgiven also especially within the four-year-old class.